Big fun with little trains

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THEY say the best things come in small packages and there is proof of that at York’s National Railway Museum this week.

The attraction itself may be huge, but some of the exhibits are tiny, and there are plenty of other activities which will appeal to the shortest of visitors.

As part of the museum’s Big Fun With Little Trains event, to mark half-term in some parts of Yorkshire, there are a host of miniature trains to ride on, and some even smaller ones to get your hands on.

Indoors and outdoors, there are diesel and steam train rides, as well as the usual opportunity to have a wander around trains from the past and from across the globe.

This week sees the G-Wizz garden railway, complete with grass, plants and its own water feature, to set the scene as you arrive.

Fans of the TV series Chuggington will enjoy playing with train sets and dressing up as Brewster, WIlson and Koko, engines from the popular CBeebies show.

To burn off energy, youngsters can go on the pedal trains as often as they like and there is a charming, and noisy, storytime session in a converted carriage.

You can build your own tracks and trains with Lego and Meccano workshops, as well as seeing a host of model railways and chatting to the enthusiasts who created them.

In the Warehouse, discover an intriguing array of model railway objects, including a model railway that is so small it fits into a banjo case, and a collection of model railway vehicles which boasts a Guinness World Record for being the largest collection made by one person.

Dining is fun and nostalgic too, with a great selection of food at the Brief Encounters restaurant, which is like eating on an age-old platform surrounded by engines from the past.

Zoe Roberts, public programme developer said: ‘With this February set to be freezing, parents who are desperate to get out of the house with the kids should make tracks to the National Railway Museum. We have a range of fun activities to keep children and their parents entertained throughout half term and all under one roof.”

Admission to the museum is free, although there is a small charge for some of the activities and rides. A regular road train service runs to York Minster from the museum, so you can combine your visit with a browse around the city centre.

Big Fun With Little Trains runs until Sunday, February 24.